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A man in a wheelchair holding a child.

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks founded ICI in 1985 to improve community services and social supports for people with disabilities and their families.

Celebrating 20 years of service

The Institute on Community Integration marks an anniversary

By Patty Mattern

Published on October 27, 2005

The University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration (ICI) will mark its 20th anniversary with a celebration this evening, Thursday, October 27. (See sidebar for details).

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks founded ICI in 1985 to improve community services and social supports for people with disabilities and their families and he served as its director until 1991. The founding vision for ICI was one of collaboration. "We wanted people from diverse fields to come together to push the frontiers of knowledge and to connect that knowledge to the needs of people with disabilities, their families, and their communities," Bruininks says.

During its 20 years, the institute has grown from fewer than 20 staff and students to more than 160 affiliated faculty, academic staff, support personnel, and research assistants from more than a dozen departments and programs at the University.

Institute on Community Integration's 20th anniversary

The celebration will take place today, Thursday, October 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis. For more information, contact Connie Burkhart at burkh021@umn.edu or 612-626-8675.

Bruininks will welcome people to the celebration that will include the screening of a new video about the ICI and a live performance by the Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

The ICI's work has had a far-reaching impact, according to current director David Johnson, and more than 300 community partners around Minnesota and the nation support it in its work.

"ICI has participated in successful efforts to move people with developmental disabilities out of state institutions and into local communities," Johnson says. "And we continue to help remove barriers to social inclusion for these individuals in community organizations, neighborhoods, and classrooms."